Thursday, January 31, 2008

End of the Streak. . .

Much like the NE Patriots 18 game win streak, I have lost weight for 18 consecutive months. At least a pound, in fact.

Until now.

As I plugged in this morning's weight into my spreadsheet, the January "loss" turned negative. A gain of 0.2 pounds for the month.

The month was going along swimmingly as I posted an all time low on 1/15 of 237.0. Sadly, I must have been a bad boy since then, as I've been hovering in the 243-244 range for the past few days. What is surprising is my level of activity has been strong with lots of high-calorie burn spin classes and 53 miles run.

Really, there are no excuses. My exercise levels have increased, but I've been over compensating on the food end. Seem's I've developed a taste for trail mix -- my favorite is the Planter's variety, which seems to come more and more in "single" serving bags. It's only 250 calories or so per bag. Problem is, it's become a problem. I've also become fond of dried fruit. Certainly I'm ignoring the fact that the fruit has some kind of coating on it to "enhance" the flavor. Can't possible be sugar, could it? Six days of business travel out of the last ten doesn't help either.

So, there it is. I know what the problem is and I know how to fix it. It's all about control. Back home and back on the wagon starting right now.

Just hope that the Pats don't follow my lead.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Update

It's been a crazy week and the numbers show it. Just two runs last week -- one for 8 and one for 3.25, plus the one spin class. Much less than I need to be doing. Unfortunately, I spent way too much time on airplanes for work. It is a positive, though, getting in one travel run -- even though I packed stuff for three.

The scale was also uncooperative -- up 1.3 pounds for the week to 240.3. Was hoping that I had seen the last of the 240's. Definitely need to work more on the diet.

As for the coming week -- two days of travel to start the week. I'm determined to hit the treadmill tonight and again in the morning. (I'm stuck at the Mexican border for my run across Arizona.) From there, at least three more runs, one or two spin classes and hopefully a weight class.

Sunday, the Team In Training group for my area is having their first group run. I had thought about a 5k, but I think the group 4 miler will be more beneficial.

Want to thank you all, too, for your advice on my little problem I posted about a couple of days ago as well as the encouragement on the long runs. Every bit helps!


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Running Arizona

Pat from Arizona has organized a couple of teams to Run and Walk Across Arizona. Why Arizona? Well, that's where Pat lives. (Duh!)

Beginning today, and for the next 16 weeks, all of my mileage will count towards Team BlogRunWalk's goal of 2000 miles. My personal commitment is 410 miles. Only 25.7 miles per week. Sounds like a lot but between the marathon training and the mileage counts for non-running, such as 4 miles for a one hour spin class, it can be done.

Looking forward to putting in the miles along with teammates Pat, Katie, Cheryl, Eric, Karen, Lisa, and Joe.

Just trying to figure out how I'll be able to stop by The Tee Pee for dinner and a coupla margaritas as I run by.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Long Long Run

In all honesty, I'm not fond of the long run. That's the part of the marathon training program that comes once a week and builds from 4 miles in week 1 of the 19 week training program and escalates to 20 miles in week 16, 3 weeks before the big race.

I received the plan last weekend and I'm already behind in week 5. Schedule for the week was 4 x 3 mile runs and an 8 miler today. Travel this week made the 3 milers tough. I got just one in during the week and it's been more than 2 months since I've broken 6 miles on a single run.

So, I got on the waiting list for the 6:30 spin class this morning and was able to score a spot. After a good hour of spin, I hit the treadmill. I was really not looking forward to this. I suppose that I'm understating it a bit -- really it was dread. I wish there was an exciting way to talk about an 8 mile treadmill run, but there isn't. I got it done. Was hoping to beat a 12 minute mile average and in just under 96 minutes, an 11:57 average, I was done. It really wasn't that bad, to be honest.

(Oh, and in reference to my last post, I used a layer of New Skin, covered by Glide. I ran blood free, but not entirely pain-in-the-chest free. I'll keep playing around with stuff till I'm outta pain.)

Somehow, I've got to get over this dread of the long run and figure out how to embrace it. The runs only grow in length from here, so I'd hate to not look forward to each weekend long run. Gotta change that mind set.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm Late! I'm Late!

So much to say, so little time to say it. On the road this week.

Lots of exercise last week, but no losses. No gains either, so that's a good thing.

Just 12 miles running, but 3 spin and one weight class. Not bad! Still need to work on bumping up the mileage to get into the marathon training plan. Should be at 20 miles now with a long run of 8 -- Yikes! Have much work to do.

I want to talk about a serious issue, but I have to warn you, if you get queasy easily, DON'T READ ON! If you don't like the sight of blood, SHUT THIS BROWSER WINDOW NOW! If you're younger than 16, pregnant or have a heart condition, STOP! (Okay, I just added that part for a comedic interlude, but you get my point.)

If you're still reading, I will not be held responsible for anything that results from this post.

Here we go. . .

The topic is Boobies.

When I started to run longer distances, my buddy Dave had warned me about boobie pain. The pain is generated from the male boob rubbing against a shirt while running. On some longer runs, I've experienced the pain and am generally careful to cover with a band aid. That has done the trick. Normally, this hasn't been a problem for distance of less than 6 or 7 miles.

At the Baltimore Marathon, I recall seeing a runner pass my check point with two red streaks running down his shirt from his chest. I get a bit queasy myself just thinking about it.

So, last week, I hit the treadmill at the gym for a good 4 miler. It was a really good run. I was wearing my brand new white Team in Training technical t shirt. I noticed some mild pain, but nothing more. I finished my run, walked past all everyone else out the door and turned toward the locker room. At that point I looked down and saw it. What? C'mon, you can guess. I know you can. Do I have to say it? Yikes. Yes, a big pool of red on my shirt. (My NEW WHITE shirt.) Holy crap, it looked like somebody had slaughtered a pig on my shirt. Immediately I thought about the room full of exercisers that I had just no doubt nauseated. I quickly took my towel and walked in such a way to cover as much of the carnage as possible en route to the locker room. Suddenly, my little nips were burning. This wasn't supposed to happen for just 4 miles.

Quickly, I took off my shirt in the locker room and headed to the shower. Couldn't wait to wash off. ARGH! The water pressure, mixed with sweat brought the pain to a new level.

Of course, I was most concerned about my new shirt. After a day of work, I brought that messy shirt home and showed Deb the carnage. Thankfully, I'm married to the Spray-and-Wash queen (one of a vast array of talents possessed by my fantastic bride.) A few hours later and waa-laa, one clean and nearly brand new TnT tech t-shirt.

If you're still reading, I won't go into the gory details of how my little band aids fell off during my run the next day with a repeat performance. Poor little guys.

So, what have I learned?

1. Wear better prophylactics -- bad things happen when they come off!
2. Wear a red shirt. . .
3. Or a black shirt.
4. Buy more Spray and Wash.
5. Look down before exiting the gym.
6. Listen to the pain.
7. Never, ever go unprotected!

Any other suggestions, friends?

I think that's enough for today, don't you?


Thursday, January 17, 2008


One of my goals for 2008 is to complete a marathon. It may be the only one that I ever do, but once you do one, you're a marathoner for life. Who knows, maybe I'll get hooked!

Monday night, I signed up for the Frederick Marathon through Team In Training (TnT). Officially, I'm now committed! (I'm wondering if I should BE committed.)

TnT has trained over 300,000 athletes participating in endurance events such as marathons, triathlons and 100-mile bike rides. While they've been at it, they've raised over $800 million to fight leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases. It's truly a great cause and an amazing story. Deb and I have a close friend that is a survivor of lymphoma, so the cause hits close to home.

I first encountered TnT in Delaware. They had lots of folks out for the marathon and the 10 mile race that I did. In Philly, for the half marathon, there must have been hundreds of participants and coaches on the course. They assign coaches and really get people moving. Very impressive. They keep you positive and motivated through the entire race and get you to the finish line.

For this event, my fundraising goal is $2500. Feel free to check out my TnT Web Page or click on the link to the right on this web page.

Onward to Frederick!


Monday, January 14, 2008


Here we are at another Monday.

What a week for exercise last week -- did just about everything but hit a pool. Totals included 10.4 miles run, 16.8 miles biked on one of the nicest January days ever, two spin classes and one group strength class. All that activity led to the best kind of pain, so I've been chowing down on ibuprofin. Yum!

The scale is cooperating too. Loss of 0.7 lbs for the week, bringing my total to exactly 175 pounds lost in just over 18 months. Hopefully, I'm out of the 240's for good!

My next goal is to be at 220 for Frederick. It's 16 weeks from yesterday. Just don't know how the training schedule will dovetail with weight loss. We'll see how it goes.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

This and That

Lot's going on the last few days to catch up on.

One Minute of Fame

When I was looking for a team to run with in the Baltimore Marathon Relay, I hooked up with a group from Alter Communications. Alter, among other things, publishes the Baltimore Jewish Times (JT), a weekly community newspaper. The leader of the team, Kim, is a writer for Alter.

Way back then, Kim asked if I would consider having a story written about me. Sure, why not.

Yesterday was publication day! Read the story on line here: The Weight is Off.

I pretty much kept this publication under wraps. Only a few people really knew about it. I was anxiously awaiting a call from my mother when either she read the article or one of her friends read it and called her. About 7:30, Deb called mom and finds out that she no longer gets the JT, but she had received a call from her friend Toby on her voice mail. Toby just said "nice article", but mom had no clue what about. Deb implored mom to go to Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy. A half hour later, mom is calling me from the parking lot, sounding a bit teary. Priceless.

Good Luck, Friends

A few blog friends are running some big races this weekend.

Katie is running in the Disney World Marathon, her first full marathon.

Pat is running the P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon in Arizona. This will be Pat's first full marathon.

Pokey is doing the P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

Best wishes, all. I'd wish you good luck, but I know you don't need it! You'll do great.

Anniversary and a Half

Today marks 18 months of my diet and exercise lifestyle change. It's been quite a year and a half. No statistics this time. (I'll save that for two years.)

To celebrate, I did a bit of an update to the blog. New background color. Also, added a "Favorite Posts" section, which are my favorites of the 150 or so that I've done (so far). Hope you like the changes.

Gym Rat

Finally, after much whining, considering, reviewing, unreviewing, yada, yada, we've joined a real gym. Actually, much more than that, we've joined Columbia Association (CA), which is a huge association that oversees the activities of nearby Columbia, Maryland. What is attractive about CA, is that our family membership includes their three full service gyms, (including one open 24/7, should I ever wake up at 2 am in desperate need of an elliptical run) and 23 outdoor summer pool, among other features. Lots of classes including 34 spin classes throughout the week at the various clubs!

So far, I've taken a Group Power class -- weights set to music -- and one spin class. The Group Power class was fun, but I'm still sore three days later. The spin classes are very popular and usually fill up. After a few tries, I was able to get in on one yesterday. About 20 minutes in I broke the bike! The left pedal broke right off. Have a nice 4" gash in my leg to show for it, too. That was fun!

That's all for now. Hope you have a great weekend.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

$10 Worth of Vanity

Somewhere in my travels on Monday, I became separated from my drivers license. Thankfully, it was after my check in at PVD on my way home. At some point Tuesday, I realized that it was gone.

What to do, what to do. I called the airport and got a hold of TSA. Sorry, not in the log. Called Southwest. We're too busy to return your call. (So much for that legendary customer service.) Checked every pocket of everything I wore on Monday. Twice. Cleaned my car, too. Then, Deb did it all over for me, just to be sure. Although I did find my lost ATM card (since replaced), no Maryland drivers license was to be found.

According to the DMV website, a replacement would require all the documentation that a new license does -- two proofs of identity, two proofs of residency. What a pain!

This afternoon, I trudged to the DMV office just before closing and waited in the 40 minute line. Finally, I was called to desk #2.

The clerk was very kind. First she asked for ID -- just one of the five that I brought, just in case, apparently. Then she started to type and type and type. Finally, she asked me to turn to face the camera. I was surprised -- thinking that they'd use the picture on file from my renewal a year ago. After the picture, she had me confirm more info. I asked about changing my weight. Not for a reprint, not allowed. (Although I'm certain that no more than three additional keystrokes would be required.) But. . . if I wanted to pay for a renewal, I could change whatever I wanted. Hmmm, twenty bucks vs. thirty. Now, I'm cheap and almost never go for the frills, but I thought there was no way that new face would match that old 345 weight from 14 months ago.

Sure, I'd like to change my weight.

More typing. Finally, "Okay, what is it?" 237. "Wow," she said. Nothing more. Nothing necessary. Probably already broke a few state laws by commenting at all.

Five minutes later and thirty dollars lighter, I walked out with my new license. Had a new picture and my current weight -- 237. A totally unnecessary extra ten bucks, but it looked really, really cool. What's wrong with a little bit of vanity?


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Deb's Birthday is on Thursday. Here are just of the few reasons that I love her.


















Happy Birthday, my love. Looking forward to spending many many more with you!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008


There is no such thing as anonymity for a fat guy. People may not speak to you, but they can't help but to notice you. No matter where you go, you are there, front and center. It doesn't matter if you are in line at the super market or at the dry cleaners, fat folks are noticed.

In the last few months, I've observed that people notice me less. A lot less. Most significantly, it's wherever there are tight quarters. Used to be, I'd hate certain restaurants where they either 1) have lots more booths than tables or 2) have tight spaces between tables. I hated having to ask people to scootch in to get by, then still have my belly rub their chairs. Embarrassing.

Yesterday, I traveled for work. I was in line at security at BWI and I noticed an old co-worker in line 20-30 people behind me. I kept looking at him and I know he saw me, but it never registered with him. After I cleared security, I waited for him. After he cleared, I yelled out for him -- hey Guy! (the French-Canadian pronunciation, lest you read it incorrectly.) He turned around but didn't notice me. GUY! Finally, he saw me, for sure. His reaction was memorable -- "OH MY GD! I would have never recognized you if you didn't call out for me."

We talked for a few minutes, then I boarded my flight. Talk about anonymous -- used to be I'd sheepishly try to hide my 414 pounds from other passengers to prevent the ultimate reaction, particularly when they realized they either had the assigned seat next to me or, on Southwest, they see that the ONLY open seat is next to the fat guy.

Last night, I ran into a woman that used to work for me. I was going into a single wide door, she was coming out. I've known this woman for six years. I trained her and she worked for me for three of those years. She made eye contact, then walked right by me. Almost the exact same reaction when called out Rachel's name.

It's really weird being anonymous. Whether it's walking down the street or in the gym or on an airplane, I've become just another stranger, not the fat guy. Still need to work on getting my brain to accept that.

Anonymous is good. . . I think.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Late Monday

It's Monday and it's late, but not too late for the weekly update.

Another good week on the scale as the scale dropped to 239.7, another 30+ year low. Change from last week is -1.8 lbs.

For exercise, I ran 4 times for 12.6 miles. A bit under what I was hoping to do, but this weekend was pretty crazy and I couldn't get in a run.

Off to bed, so all for now.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Be It Hereby Resolved

I've never been one for New Year's resolutions. I'd never joined a gym like the millions that will do so this week. I'm not even a great goal setter, but that has seemed to work for me over the past 17 1/2 months.

So here they are, my 2008 goals:

1,000 miles running -- this is a stretch, a big stretch. What's that, about 83 miles a month? Ok, the fact that my top monthly mileage ever is 66 won't deter me. The key is to stay healthy.

1,000 miles biking -- this will be my first real season with a bike (well, since I was like 14). I feel pretty comfortable with this one, but we'll see how it goes.

swimming -- I just throw that in there cause I want to. No specifics, yet, but when we join our gym, I want to get a few swims in a month.

199.0 -- My ultimate weight goal -- about 42 pounds to go.

Events -- So far, just two on my radar:

4/27 -- Pike's Peek 10k -- Want to blow away last year's 88 minutes.
5/4 -- Frederick Marathon -- The big one!

We'll see what else the year brings. Looking for a duathlon and, we'll see how the swimming goes, maybe even a late season tri -- ya never know!

Happy 2008 to you all.